Honestly, I can’t do it today. There’s my truth. I can’t get into my story because it’s just too much of a story to tell. I know I’ve written it a dozen times but for some reason it’s missing on this site. I wonder if it’s on imnotobsessed?? Either way, I know I can’t write it. My mother posted a video link to HER story (which of course is intertwined with mine). I watched the whole thing and just sobbed because I remembered.
I was playing hookie that day from work. I just didn’t feel like going in. So, I was sleeping when the first plane hit. My grandmother came rushing down to tell me. And it’s true. My father was there. He worked at the towers. It was my first thought. I tried to call him and naturally I couldn’t get through. Everyone had someone to call that day. Everyone. So, we just sat and watched — helpless.
He eventually made it to Astoria. He walked across the bridge. No cars could make it over. He had soot on him. We cried. We all cried. And then we watched some more. I haven’t stopped watching. Every year, I am plastered to the TV on this day. I feel like it’s my way of honoring them. I don’t know what else to do.
I don’t want to get into the full details of all of my emotions from the day. I just can’t. But know that so many years later, I am still broken, afraid, empty. That day ruined me as I am sure it did for so many NYers. I quit my NYC job eventually because I couldn’t handle the train ride to Court Street. I couldn’t get off at the World Trade Center anymore because…well, there was no more World Trade Center. So, instead I would have to get off the stop before and walk. I would walk through blocks and blocks of grieving families, of workers having their morning meetings, of offerings and prayers, of pictures hung EVERYWHERE. I COULDN’T TAKE IT.
I still can’t think about it.
So, I quit. Because I wasn’t strong enough to relive that day over and over again. I became a computer teacher in Queens at a Catholic school to pass the time until my husband and I were ready to have children. And then? Well, here we are.
But don’t think for one second that every time I cross a bridge or drive under a tunnel, I don’t think of this day. Because I do. I hold my breathe and pray I make it out on the other side. Forever scared. Forever afraid. Forever holding back the tears.